Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Miami Hurricanes have won ... zero conference championships. That’s right, the dominant program from years past had become an afterthought in its new league. In fact, the Canes have never won a division title. But they are the preseason favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division after Mark Richt got the program moving in the right direction following the Al Golden debacle. Richt has amassed a ton of talent in South Beach, but he needs a quarterback to emerge after the departure of Brad Kaaya.
2016 Record: 9-4 SU, 9-4 ATS, 6-7 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 9
National Championship Odds: +5500
Odds To Win ACC: +500
Some of the swagger returned to the program under first-year coach Richt. The Canes matched their highest win total in the ACC era with nine and snapped a six-game bowl losing streak by defeating West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
For two-thirds of the season the Canes were a legitimate top-10 team. They started the year winning their first four and the games weren’t close. It began with a 70-3 win over Florida AM and included decisive victories over Florida Atlantic and Appalachian State. A two touchdown win over Georgia Tech had the Canes at 4-0 heading into their showdown with Florida State.
Once again, though, the Noles proved to be Miami’s kryptonite. The Canes pulled within a point following a late touchdown, only to miss the extra point and lose 20-19. Miami had a hard time picking itself up after that, losing to UNC, Virginia Tech and, somehow, to Notre Dame. Their perfect start had suddenly turned into a 4-4 season. The Canes regrouped, found that early season rhythm and ran off impressive wins over Virginia Tech, Pitt and WVU to end the year on a five-game winning streak.
The biggest position battle is also the most important. The Canes must replace three-year starter Kaaya at quarterback after he left early for the NFL. Had the record-breaking signal-caller stuck around for another season the Canes would easily be national championship contenders. As it is, they are a favorite to win their first ACC Coastal Division.
Malik Rosier has experience in the system. He started a game two years ago and was Kaaya’s backup last season, but threw just four passes. And that’s four more than the others fighting for the job. N’Koski Perry is considered the most talented of the group and has the skill set that will likely win him the job at some point during the year. The good news for Canes’ fans is that the supporting cast is wonderful. Mark Walton ran for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He is a key piece of the offense while the QB situation gets resolved.
The Canes had three true freshman start at linebacker last season and the trio returns after leading the team to the 12th best scoring defense in the country. Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud are expected to make the group even more vicious. The line has plenty of talent and the front seven will help out the secondary, which is the perceived weakness of the group. Even with an unsettled quarterback situation the Canes are predicted to win the Coastal. Imagine what they’ll do if someone emerges in that spot.
Week 1: Miami vs. Bethune-Cookman, Saturday, September 2
Week 2: Miami at Arkansas State, Saturday, September 9
Week 3: Miami at Florida State, Saturday, September 16
Week 4: Miami vs. Toledo, Saturday, September 23
Week 5: Miami at Duke, Friday, September 29
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Miami vs. Georgia Tech, Thursday, October 12
Week 8: Miami vs. Syracuse, Saturday, October 21
Week 9: Miami at North Carolina, Saturday, October 28
Week 10: Miami vs. Virginia Tech, Saturday, November 4
Week 11: Miami vs. Notre Dame, Saturday, November 11
Week 12: Miami vs. Virginia, Saturday, November 18
Week 13: Miami at Pittsburgh, Friday, November 24
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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